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Jillian Michaels doubles down on weight criticism, but regrets dragging Lizzo into it

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/15/2020 Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 13: Jillian Michaels visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on January 13, 2020 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) © Getty BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 13: Jillian Michaels visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on January 13, 2020 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Jillian Michaels is not backing down.

The former "Biggest Loser" trainer, who was accused of body-shaming Lizzo after criticizing the musician's weight, doubled down on her controversial comments.

"Denying that there are serious health ramifications when we are overweight is just not a lie I’m willing to tell," Michaels told Extra TV Monday. 

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Last week, Michaels asked BuzzFeed News’ "AM to DM" host Alex Berg, "Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren't we celebrating her music? 'Cause it isn't gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes… I love her music. My kid loves her music. But there’s never a moment where I’m like, 'And I’m so glad that she’s overweight.' "

Michaels' remarks about Lizzo's figure immediately sparked backlash from Whoopi Goldberg, Jameela Jamil and lots of social media users, prompting a NSFW response from the Grammy-nominated artist herself, who recently took a break from Twitter over bullying. 

On Monday, Michaels said that although her view on weight remains the same, it's unfortunate that "a human being was attached to a case that I was making."

"(Lizzo) didn’t invite this at all and what I really regret is (that) this argument became about a person," she said. "I should have said, 'I don't celebrate anyone being overweight,' and I don’t."

Michaels added: "I’m a huge fan (of Lizzo)." 

Michaels clarified that she made the controversial remark about Lizzo while discussing if NBC's hit show "The Biggest Loser" would be successful nowadays. (The reality competition originally aired for 17 seasons from 2004 to 2016.)

"Here’s the reality… (the conversation) was actually about 'The Biggest Loser' and does that show work today," she told Extra TV host Billy Bush. "I said I don’t think so, because I think the world has become so (politically correct) that we’ve gone so far to glamorize obesity and… I think this is where things can become unsafe."

"The Biggest Loser" – which has received criticism over the years for promoting an unhealthy and unrealistic weight loss regimen  – is returning to the USA Network on Jan. 28 with two new trainers and Bob Harper as host. 

The revamped show will put an emphasis on making a "bigger connection between weight loss and health," according to USA Network executive Heather Olander.

"(The contestants) primarily came to the show because they wanted to live a longer life," Olander said at the Television Critics Association Saturday. "The message in the show is, yes, being thin and fitting into skinny jeans; if that’s what you want, fabulous. But that’s not the end all, be all. It’s not about getting thin at all costs. It’s about getting healthy and setting these contestants on a healthy lifestyle path."

Olander continued: "So we touched on the mental part of it, the food part of it, and the fitness part of it to say to everyone, viewers and the contestants, it’s not about a short term diet get thin, because it’s not sustainable. That’s not the right message to send. It’s about getting healthy and whatever that means for you and whatever body type that is for you."




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